Keeping it real. Pete Davidson opened up about his mental health in his own comedic way on the Saturday, October 7, episode of Saturday Night Live.
Davidson appeared on the show’s “Weekend Update” segment and briefly touched upon his widely publicized struggles before giving out a few tips to those who battle depression.
“As some of you may know, I was recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a form of depression. And depression affects more than 16 million people in this country and there’s like, no cure, per se, but for anyone dealing with it there are treatments that can help,” the comedian, 23, began.
“First of all, if you think you’re depressed, see a doctor and talk with him about medication and also, be healthy. Eating right and exercise can make a HUGE difference,” Davidson continued.
“And finally, if you are in the cast of a late-night comedy show, it might help if, you know, they use more of your sketches,” he said in a guilt-trip attempt, which prompted the audience to burst into laughter.
“Are you saying you’re depressed because you’re not getting enough air time?” Colin Jost asked.
“No, no, no. I was born depressed but it might make me feel better if I was on TV more,” the Staten Island native answered, to which Jost responded, “I don’t know if this is maybe the best solution.”
“It’s worth a shot. I mean, the show is, like, eight hours long. There’s, like, 50 sketches a week. It seems weird that you wouldn’t use one of them to fight mental illness, but I guess that’s not your style,” Davidson joked.
“Well, maybe one approach might be to write more sketches for yourself?” Jost suggested.
“That won’t work. My sketches suck because they’re all written by a depressed person,” Davidson quipped.
The Saturday Night Live star revealed on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast in September that in 2016, he ”started having these mental breakdowns where I would, like, freak out and then not remember what happened after. Blind rage.”
Assuming that his marijuana use was to blame, he decided to quit smoking in the hopes that his condition would improve — but it didn’t. Davidson admitted he relied on marijuana to ease the pain of his Crohn’s disease, but after celebrating three months of sobriety, he still felt the same. “I found out I have BPD, which is borderline personality disorder,” he shared. “One of my psychiatrists [diagnosed me]. He was always saying before this big meltdown, ‘You’re probably bipolar or borderline, we’re just going to have to figure it out.’ … I’m depressed all the time.”
The comic now goes to therapy sessions and has begun taking new medication for BPD. “It is working, slowly but surely,” he said. “I’ve been having a lot of problems. This whole year has been a f–king nightmare. This has been the worst year of my life, getting diagnosed with this and trying to figure out how to learn with this and live with this.”
Davidson was just 7 years old when he lost his father, Scott, to the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001. He believes the loss greatly impacted his mental health.
The comedian’s return to SNL in March after a stint in rehab was met with applause from the studio audience.
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